The Slide And Finish Position – Building Proper Bowling Technique And An Ideal Bowling Approach

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Last Part of a Great Approach In Bowling –  The Finish Position & Slide

We have covered The Stance, First Step and Pushaway, Second Step of the Approach, Pivot Step and The Timing Spot.

Even though this is the last thing that happens during the approach, it actually is the first thing I look at when assessing a bowler. Is the bowler in good balance and able to stay in the finish position at the foul line, or do they fall off balance? If the bowler falls off balance, I start working backward through the approach to find out why the bowler was not able to stay balanced at the foul line.

How To Prevent From Falling Off Your Shot At The Foul Line

Most of the time a bowler falls off balance, it has to do with their spine angle. There are two things I will look at in the spine angle. The first is whether the spine angle changes over the last two steps. The second is whether the spine is at an angle where the chin is over top of the knee.

What Is The Correct Amount Of Spine-Degree Angle?

There is actually a pretty wide range that is considered acceptable. The spine angle can be anywhere from 30-55 degrees. The biggest thing about this is that the spine angle remains constant and steady over the last two steps. By lunging forward or backward, you lose power and accuracy as well fall off balance.

Even when the spine angle remains constant and steady, the ideal position at the foul line should be with the chin right over the top of the knee, if not even slightly behind the knee.

“Chicken – Wingin” The Bowling Ball In A Bad Shot

We’ve heard of the term or had one of our teammates tell us when we make a bad shot, that we “chicken-winged” it. One of the reasons this happens is the spine angle gets too far forward, and the chin is past the knee. When this happens, the right hip can’t get out of the way. Now, the arm has to go around the hip, so the ball doesn’t bump the leg as it goes by on the way to the release of the ball. This is one of the things that cause us to “chicken wing” the arm swing.

The Trail Leg At The Foul Line

The last thing I look for at the Finish Position is the position of the trail leg (the trail leg is opposite of the sliding leg). So, if you’re right-handed, you should be sliding on your left foot. Your trail leg then would be your right leg. Ideally, the trail leg, for a right-handed bowler, should be kept on the floor, slightly behind and to the left of you. There also should be a little bit of a gap between the trail leg and sliding foot.

When I see the trail leg come way up in the air at the Finish Position, this usually is a result of being too far forward. The trail leg acts as a balance mechanism. The farther forward the spine angle, the higher the trail leg comes off the floor to keep one’s balance. If you work on keeping the trail leg on the floor, this will help you have a good spine angle as well as keep the spine angle from changing too much.

One thing to note is that you do not have to have a huge amount of knee bend at the foul line to remain in balance or make a good shot. Just a little knee flex is all that is really needed.

I put a picture of Chris Barnes finish position at the foul line. This is perfect! Chin over top of the knee with the trail leg on the ground and a slight gap between the trail leg and the sliding foot. Also notice that Chris does have some knee bend in his sliding leg, but it is not an excessive amount by any means. This picture is a screenshot from Mark Baker’s outstanding DVD, The System. Thanks, Bakes!

I hope this series of The Approach helps you to become a little more consistent with a little more power and balance. If you have any questions about any of my blogs or would like me to cover a particular topic, please contact me at [email protected]

One thought on “The Slide And Finish Position – Building Proper Bowling Technique And An Ideal Bowling Approach

  1. Jerry Allford says:

    I have taken level one coaching. I am currently helping youth bowlers. I am going to follow some of the advice on here to help my kids and myself. Thank you.

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